Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sheriff needs to explain more

EDITOR: Elected public officials have an obligation in the grand scheme of our form of government to provide the public with the reasons for major policy decisions, so that people can judge for themselves. Sheriff D’Agostini has yet to explain adequately his reasons for terminating the ability of U.S. Forest Service law enforcement personnel to enforce state law on lands administered by the Forest Service.

The Sheriff’ cites only unspecified complaints. The Sheriff has not indicated the number of those complaints, their basis or whether his department investigated them. We do know that he didn’t bother to contact Forest Service officials about them before taking precipitous action.

Given that El Dorado is a mostly rural county and the well known high cost of the Sheriff’s Department, it would not seem to be appropriate for the Sheriff to have reduced resources available for law enforcement. At the very least, the public is entitled to a full explanation detailing the nature of the alleged complaints and their numbers.

The seriousness of the Sheriff’s action suggests an ongoing pattern of serious problems with Forest Service law enforcement. If that is the case, the Sheriff should disclose those problems and, if not, the Sheriff should promptly restore the cooperative agreement with the Forest Service.

PETE MELNICOE

Placerville

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 22 comments

  • Jack MehoffJuly 02, 2013 - 10:54 am

    Pete, go to http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/rubicon-trail/741415-law-enforcement-rubicon-version-2-a.html

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 02, 2013 - 11:53 am

    Pete, allow me to explain as briefly as possible and in the fashion that our good Sherriff might endorse. The forest cops are a bunch of incompetent, overbearing, nonresponsive, inconsistent unprofessional Barney Fifes. LINK - Barney Fife and the Preamble to the Constitution

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  • Peter MelnicoeJuly 02, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Dear Phil: Let's let the sheriff explain, shall we? He's the one we elected, so he really doesn't need others to put words in his mouth, a clearly unsanitary practice. And, preferably our sheriff will cite facts, rather than one-off opinions.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampJuly 02, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    Dear Pete, By means of a LETTER TO THE EDITOR you have addressed the public. As a member of the public I am responding to your public inquiry. Sheriff D'Agostini has addressed your questions here . . . LINK - Sheriff strips Forest Service of power If you are seeking a direct response from Sheriff D'Agostini then obtain an appointment and ask him faced to face.

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  • Peter MelnicoeJuly 02, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    He needs to explain publicly.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 02, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    Dear Pete, LINK - Public nuisance forest ranger By Letters to the Editor EDITOR: I wanted to share with the readers of El Dorado County an unfortunate experience I had with a U.S. Forest Service “Law Enforcement” officer in early June. . . . . . . but the short of it was that myself and two friends were a short way up Wright’s Lake Road past Ice House reservoir doing some target shooting. After a half-hour or so, we were accosted by two USFS Law Enforcement officers (a male and a female) and their K9 partner. Right from the start, the male officer was openly hostile and confrontational (his German shepherd however, was the friendliest of the three, seemingly most delighted to meet some new people and promptly relieving herself in the middle of our little impromptu gathering). . . . . . After respectfully and thoroughly obeying literally to the letter every command given us and answering every question asked of each of us, I ended up in handcuffs, was told I was going to jail, and was mirandized without ever being told what crime I had committed and with what I was being charged. . . . . . . At home after doing about five minutes of research on the SPI Website, I discovered that their “Recreational Use Policy” states that their lands are open to most forms of recreation (which include hunting and shooting) and the only specific prohibitions were woodcutting, campfires or camping. Officer M was dead wrong. Dead, flat wrong. . . . . . I tried to file a formal complaint with this officer’s supervisor, a captain in the local office, and was told that there exists no “formal” means of filing a Formal Complaint. Hmm. That sounds a little fishy, doesn’t it? “Just jot down the experience and we’ll take it from there.” And that’s where it ended. . . .

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  • Walking TallJuly 03, 2013 - 7:07 am

    As the Sheriff is our elected official and his actions affect the citizens that elected him as well as those who did not, Not a good choice to upset the future back up that the Deputies may need, can't we all just get along and work out a solution that benefits all, Oh well that's why we have elections and try new ideas, keeps the collective opions flowing I guess.

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  • NancyJuly 03, 2013 - 9:22 am

    Everybody join hands now and sing along. "We are the World, We are The Children".

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  • cookie65July 03, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Run into one of these over zealous, little man syndrome, authority complex, above the law, power seeking rangers just once and there will be no explanation needed. Make no mistake, they give badges to people who have no life skills and don't have the slightest clue of the difference between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. This to me is just another facet of protecting the citizens. American citizens are more often abused by their government and those associated with it than any of their fellow citizens.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 03, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    Nancy, there is an extra charge for sarcasm.

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  • JoeJuly 03, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    SUPPORT The El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini Anyone that has had issues with Officer Ken Marcus of the USFS or any other USFS LEO that has acted Unprofessionally or Otherwise! Really needs to contact Mr. Scott Harris Regional Special Agent in Charge. Mr. Scott Harris Regional Special Agent in Charge United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service 1323 Club Drive Vallejo, Ca. 94592 707.562.8737 _____________________________________________________________________ Also please send a copy to Sheriff D'Agostini - dagostinij@edso.org If the incident that your reporting ONLY Happened in El Dorado County **Otherwise the Sheriff of the county in which the incident happened** ______________________________________________________________________ Mr Scott Harris needs to know of these violations as he said to Sheriff D'Agostini last Wednesday June 26th When he eluded it was the first he ever heard of this. ** Which is highly contested amongst citizens of El Dorado county suggesting Mr. Harris was aware too.** see news report at: www . sacbee . com/2013/06/27/5530046/el-dorado-county-sheriff-curtails.html

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 03, 2013 - 6:06 pm

    Joe, here is your sacbee link LINK - El Dorado County sheriff curtails Forest Service officers' authority to enforce state laws

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 03, 2013 - 6:10 pm

    OK, let me try this again - Joe here is your sacbee link - - - LINK - El Dorado County sheriff curtails Forest Service officers' authority to enforce state laws

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  • FranJuly 03, 2013 - 5:13 pm

    I support the sheriff...I know of a young family that was hiking and was stopped and questioned...they said it was scary...they were out walking with their five year old...and were confused...they had grown up here in Pollock...and had never been approached before like that.

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  • FranJuly 03, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    We are having the Sheriff come up to Pollock Pines for an old fashion town hall meeting...to ask a variety of questions pertaining to crime up here. where some feel they can answer the questions by debating in a group--Im more comfortable having the sheriff come himself to answer the questions. I voted for him. Not the people who want to have a advisory board of un elected people.

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  • 1036-FrankJuly 03, 2013 - 8:19 pm

    The Sheriff is 100% right on this issue. Years ago it was thought a good idea to grant the forest circus these state powers under the guise of a misguided employee of the Sheriff's Office who should of known better. Federal Officers need to be of limited jurisdiction in all matters of the state that are reserved for local law enforcement.

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  • FranJuly 03, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    1036-Frank...sometimes we dont see eye to eye on things...this I agree with...I think the sheriff s office knows what to do --and they have always responded when I've called. I have had no problems with forest people--but recently Pollock has had some interesting changes...and forest people(some) have been aggressive. My grandson would like to go gold panning some day--I dont know if he will be allowed to have the experience, of just going down by the river--and working his pan...now how sad is that...he is ten...living in "gold" country.

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  • G BarnettJuly 03, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    Since the special agent in charge is part of the problem, I would also cc any correspondence to the Regional Forster in Vallejo as well as Congressman McClintock’s office and Sen. Feinstein’s and Boxer’s office.

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  • LpJuly 04, 2013 - 12:49 am

    You go Phil, and Kookie! I can't believe I actually agree with Kookie! Our sheriff has done the right thing!

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  • cookie65July 04, 2013 - 8:45 am

    Lp, since we are not parallel lines we have to intersect at some point in the universe.

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  • Jim RiordanJuly 04, 2013 - 10:50 am

    I agree 100% with the Sheriff and will vote for him again next election. A lot of these "Rangers" are "wanna-be" real law enforcement.

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  • Vic SubiaJuly 04, 2013 - 12:00 pm

    Bring back the Forest Rangers who always smiled and were interested in making your visit to federal forests a fun and enjoyable experience.

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